tv Andrea Mitchell Reports MSNBC July 25, 2014 9:00am-10:01am PDT
visit celebrex.com and ask your doctor about celebrex. for a body in motion. right now on "andrea mitchell reports," border lines. president obama meet with the prts of guatemal ahonduras and el salvador today looking for a way to move refugee hearings south of the border. days of rage. palestinian protests erupting over the shelling of a u.n. school and shelter in gaza yesterday. >> that's a responsible thing to kill the children? the old women? the children are -- what? >> can secretary kerry's round the clock talks bring israel and hamas back from the brunk. plus, high anxiety. three major air disasters in just one week have flyers on edge. >> this was malaysia airlines flight 17 headed from amsterdam to kuala lumpur. according to the ukrainians, the
plane went down somewhere near the russian border. >> trans asia flight was trying to make an emergency landing on the island after requesting a go-around in rough weather. they lost contact with the tower. >> it disappeared from radar 50 minutes into the flight. >> nbc's lester holt joining me to separate the fear from the facts. good day. i'm andrea mitchell in washington where president obama will be meet with the leaders of honduras, el salvador and guatemala this ash fternoon to k about the crisis in south america. many unaccompanied, smuggling these children in in the face of bipartisan objectives to revising a 2008 law that would provide refugee hearings.
the white house is floating a possible fix. a screening program for children in their home countries to expedite applications for refugee status. this morning the president of hon de honduras blamed the problem on illegal drug use on both sides of the border. >> translator: your country, here in the united states is the largest consumer of drugs. and what happens with that is you manage to resolve the problem by separating the violence from the consumption of drugs. and for many, public officials here, the problem is a matter of health. what is it for us in central america? it's a problem of life and death. >> gill serves as commissioner of the u.s. customs and border enforcement department and was the drug czar and joins me from the white house lawn. thank you, commissioner, for being with us. we heard from the honduran president. that's what we've been hearing for decade from our mexican
officials, as well, that the problem is really here. the drug consumption here that fuels the money that fuels the cartels. we, of course, have complained that it's their corruption that permits these smugglers to go unabated. what do we do about it? >> i don't think we need to point fingers. we clearly recognize that we have a drug problem in the united states. but what isn't recognized is our drug consumption, particularly of cocaine, is down markedly. we've really done a very good job of reducing that demand. every country has demand when i visited guatemala, when i visited other countries. we're all in this together, andrea. >> we may all be in this together, but there's been a noticeable lack of cooperation from honduras and guatemala. i don't know how these children get publicly on these trains, get through mexico without anyone stopping them. so what about the corruption that continues in all of these countries? >> you are absolutely right. we know from stories of many
people who have made this very dangerous journey that they've been involved in having to bribe officials. that's why we need to make and work with these other countries to make the quality of their law enforcement as professional as possible and to help them in every day we can because it's really not only to their benefit. it's also to ours. >> what about the possibility of doing refugee screenings in country? are the leaders of these countries going to accept that? would that diminish the numbers of children who are coming across the border an this dangerous journey? >> i know very much the administration is looking at all of the different aspects that can be -- or groups that can be used, not only refugee groups but the work with the state department, et cetera. it is an unbelievably complex problem. and everything that we can do to work with those countries, to reduce that flow is just critical. >> it seems like these leaks to
the various news media outlets today indicated this is what the white house is going to be proposing. how would that work? how would that change the way things are now taking place? terms of this flow of children? >> certainly secretary johnson through the administration has asked from congress for flexibility in the law. and it's flexibility in the law to do enforcement. >> but we're hearing bipartisan objections. you are hearing that from democrats as well as republicans. they'll not change the law. >> well, you know, this is -- actually gets into a little bit of the issues that are clearly in front of congress. the border protection issues, the enforcement, the way that we treat these young people, particularly these families that come in and not just the safe way but in a really compassionate way, something now i've seen four times and i'll make my fifth trip next week. >> thank you so much, commissioner. and the wreckage of the air
algerie plane that crashed yftd has been located in mali. french officials say none of the 118 people an board flight 5017 survived. with three air disasters in just this past week, it raises real questions about how safe is it to fly? joining me is nbc's lester holt, anchor of "dateline" and "nightly news." you have so much experience with aviation. tell us from your perspective why so many disasters now? is this just terrible coincidences and how safe is air travel? >> i think every expert will tell you that air travel is as safe as it has ever been on so many levels. one of the things that are becoming more difficult -- they are focusing on is human performance. the airplanes themselves have never been built better, more redundancy in them. but it's the human factor. decision-making and getting behind the airplane in some cases that i think is sometimes
more difficult to address. the things we've seen, certainly the shoot down of a plane is not something we would normally anticipate. you have to write that off hopefully as a one off. these other two crashes in taiwan and the algerie plane both may be weather related. that's a different animal. weather continues to plague airplanes. they can't fly everywhere in every condition. we understand that md-80, the algerie plane, the pilots had requested to vector around some weather. that's not uncommon. the pilot should be looking at a weather radar and they can see the intense spots going into some of these cumulus nimbus clouds where you have violent updrafts and down drafts and they'll normally call air traffic control and say we need to steer five degrees to the right or ten degrees to the right, whatever it takes to get around it. that's why you often see flight delays in the summertime from the east coast to the west as planes are vectoring around these thunderstorms and it slows the whole system down. >> and as you were just pointing out it is very safe to fly.
i think the statistics are something like 1 in 4 million are the chances of getting caught in a plane crash somewhere in the world. and then the odds are even better, it's something like 1 in 25 million for being in a plane crash somewhere in north america or europe where regulations are far better. but what about this whole issue of hot zones and whether or not there's enough regulation? >> i'm sorry, say that again? >> the whole question of hot zones and whether or not there is any regulating body keeping commercial flights out of areas such as over ukraine and now clearly over syria, other places where we know there are rebels who have missiles and have either s.a.m.s or man pads that can get planes on takeoff or landing. >> that comes down to what are they capable of hitting. if you are flying over it at 30,000, 40,000 feet your concern is the surface to air missile that was used in ukraine, not
common in a lot of these places. other places it's shoulder fired missiles. as we're seeing now in israel, the fear of these missiles being fired over from gaza. it's a matter of assessing what the capabilities are if you are flying over at 30,000 feet, probably not concerned about some of these weapons on the ground. but i think that's something the aviation industry is trying to address. who makes that call. in very many cases, the u.s. will issue notice to airmen, meaning certain rules apply to u.s. carriers. but the airlines have a great amount of latitude and they always want to take the most direct route in terms of efficiency. not necessarily a straight line but the most efficient way to get point a to point b. often that takes them over troubled lands. >> from your experience with the faa, there was all this talk about whether the faa had been influenced by politics, by either secretary kerry or pressure from israel, pressure from what mike bloomberg said.
from your experience, would the faa be making decisions about american commercial airliners based on politics, based on international relations? >> i can't say that. i've covered aviation for a long time. one of the reasons aviation is so safe is because they do often bend over backwards to make the right call. sometimes go a little farther than some people might think they should. but it's in the interest of safety. i can tell you if an airplane got hit on the ground in tel aviv or a plane an approach got hit, we'd all be sitting here talking about why didn't they stop the flight? so that's the way those things work. whether there is politics involved, i don't know. but typically in aviation, they tend to make decisions, you know, in the interest of safety, bend over backwards. and that's one of the reasons the system is so safe. >> lester holt. we'll be watching this weekend on saturday, sunday "today," saturday and sunday "nightly." >> good to be here. thanks. much more ahead an "andrea mitchell reports," including the
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there is no let-up in the violence from the middle east. hamas rockets continue to fire on israel today sending israelis running for cover at tel aviv's airport and on streets there. and more deaths today on the west bank. in the west bank in separate incidents, protests began overnight, continued today set off by yesterday's attack on a u.n. school and shelter in gaza that left 15 civilians dead. for the latest from both sides i'm joined by nbc's martin fletcher in tel aviv and by phone from gaza, ayman mohyeldin. martin, first to you.
what is israel saying 24 hours after that terrible attack in gaza on the u.n. shelter where the u.n. officials on the ground complained that there had been no warning that it was a shelter. and israel had several different versions. what is the latest on what they are saying about responsibility for that? >> well, they have not said they did not do it. they just raised the possibility it could have been hamas. there was a major battle going on in that area at that time. and that it could have been a shelter. could have been a hamas shell and they are investigating the incident. that's where they are now. not too sure how they are investigating it on the ground but the inference is that israel is under great pressure and growing pressure because of the killings and the pictures of the killings. and so the sense is that with the day of rage, which has already led to four palestinians being killed in two different
incidents on the west bank today and expectations that after dark tonight there's going to be thousands of palestinians, more on the streets in the west bank. the killings in the school are having real reperkugs here at home. >> ayman in gaza, the horror of what's happened, the children, we've all seen those pictures. yet at the same time, the leadership in both israel and hamas don't seem ready to accept a cease-fire, at least we know there have been negotiations conducted by john kerry from cairo and ban ki-moon from the u.n. going on all night. is there any change, do you think, in the political climate? >> there is no change in the political demand of the two organizations, but there's no doubt that the reality on the ground is certainly going to weigh in as a factor in the calculation of hamas. i think certainly there's going to be questions about how much more can they as an organization and as islamic jihad and another
organization that's participating in this, a palestinian faction. they, too, are probably wondering how much more can they sit by and watch the international community do nothing and how much power do they have in their hands in being able to bring this to an end. one of the points hamas officials say is that living a life without dignity is not worth living at all. and that's one of the reasons even though there is such a high casualty toll they feel these are the demands of the palestinian people and that's why they continue on in this struggle and in this fight. they don't see it as a fight between hamas and israel but rather all the palestinian people and israel. >> and, martin, in terms of the israeli officials, the world opinion is growing against israel because of what people are seeing. whether it's fair or not, that balance has definitely shifted. and the u.n. is furious. ban ki-moon angrily denouncing that attack on a shelter. is there any lessening of israel's resolve to continue and
continue trying to get to the munitions in those tunnels? >> i think israel's resolve is growing to be honest with you in terms of public opinion. 80% of the people are behind the prime minister. now there's a debate in the cabinet, which is still meeting whether or not they should accept the cease-fire. there seems to be a majority for accepting the cease-fire. there's some serious opposition against accepting the cease-fire. when you ask about israel's response to the outside opinion, what you hear from israelis all the time is that they just don't understand us. they don't understand that we're fire, that we are trying to stop rockets from hitting our people. this is what you hear all the time. we've been under rocket attack from hamas for years. there's been three outbreaks of fighting inny the last five years. they say now is a time to stop it. i think everybody is horrified by those images. nobody in israel believes that
they are attacking schools on purpose. it's a horrible byproduct of war when the shells are flying around. is it weakening israel's resolve? i don't believe it is. however, having said that, all eyes now in the government are on john kerry's proposal for a cease-fire. it's on the table. israel's cabinet is discussing whether or not to accept it. they are waiting to see whether hamas will accept it. and another thing one hears all the time in israel is that, why don't -- they don't understand why the palestinian people in gaza don't object to the killings. why don't they say we set the cease-fire -- three cease-fires already israel has accepted and hamas hasn't accepted any of them. there's disbelief in israel about the ability if you like, of palestinians in gaza to accept these kinds of deaths on behalf of a greater notion of destroying israel. this is what you hear from israelis all the time. so the eyes on kerry's proposal.
the cease-fire proposal on the table. will hamas accept it? will israel accept it? if not, it seems there will be more intense fighting. if kerry goes back to the united states without an agreement having worked so hard an the ground to try to put a proposal together, what's left except more fighting? >> indeed. martin fletcher, ayman mohyeldin, thank you both so much. i'm joined by bill cohen, former secretary of defense for the clinton administration. bill, we both have seen this for so many decades. but this seems to have reached critical mass. the horror of the pictures, the children involved, and john kerry right now, they were supposed to have a briefing, an outcome, 8:00 this morning, 10:00 this morning. now we're told not before 2:30. clearly waiting on the israeli cabinet who in turn they're waiting on the palestinians. >> i think the fighting is unlikely to stop as long as rockets are being fired by hamas
into israel. i don't thing israelis are going to agree to a cease-fire. unfortunately there's going to be more killing involved. it's also interesting to note that there are a number of arab countries in the region who have not been supporting hamas in this particular matter. uae, saudi arabia, egypt, because i think they see hamas as an extension of the brotherhood. as a result of that, public opinion in the region is pretty much dispersed. for the palestinians, because they are looking for support wherever they can get it. and they're not getting much in the way from their own arab counterparts or compatriots. i think under the circumstances, if this was a deliberate targeting of that school, i think it would be unconscionable on the part of the israelis to have done that. they are engaged in urban warfare. in urban warfare, innocent people die and that's what's taking place. we're all horrified by what we have seen. palestinians are dying en masse and i think it's unfortunate that the hamas group seems to be prepared to have more palestinians die rather than stop the rocketfire.
i understand what they are saying. namely, we'd rather die than live under occupation or without any hope. and that's something i think that secretary kerry is trying to broker right now. is there a way to find both a cessation of the hostilities so the palestinians can have freedom, opportunity, dignity and the israelis can have security? as long as those rockets are firing at israel, frankly, the iron dome is 90% effective. it's still 10% not effective. so even though the president or the faa has been criticized, i want my government to be exercising prudence on behalf of the safety of the american people. and to the extent there was a shootdown of a malaysian commercial aircraft, a launching of a missile into a mile near the airport, i want the faa to protect the american people. i think it was a wise, prudent thing to do. now we're back on track and flights are going back in. >> let me take you back to whether or not this could be a
tipping point because those arab leaders and particularly the fatah leaders, the palestinian leaders, who were very critical of hamas and wanted a cease-fire, they are so horrified by the carnage in gaza that they are now stepping back and are afraid, politically, to align themselves with egypt or israel without getting something in return. has it gone too far by the ground invasion and by the fact that hamas has these tunnels and has these longer range rockets from iran, from wherever, that both sides have ramped it up to a point of no return? >> it may be. it may be that we're seeing the marginalization of mahmoud abbas. that would be a terrible mistake. >> the palestinian leader. >> the palestinian leader. i would like to see him actually empowered, rather than hamas. but i think the extent that he's been marginalized by no apparent gain through his method, then you'll see a return to hamas
saying we have nothing to lose. the old song goes, freedom is when nothing left to lose. well, they say the same thing. it's not worth living if not live with freedom. >> from your experience, how long can this white house, this state department support israel's self-defense in the face of this kind of horror of civilian deaths. >> i think, obviously, we are committed to israel's securities. so i think we'll stay as long as we have this commitment to them. hopefully, the israelis are taking that into account. we have supported israel's defense. we have provided the iron dome technology. we continue to supply billions of dollars. when the president calls or the secretary of state calls, they have to at least take that into account rather than simply saying we're going to defend ourselves no matter what you think. that's what secretary kerry is trying to say. we want to hold on to this relationship. we don't think it's in danger at this point but if this killing goes on at this level, this may call into question certainly the international community. but, remember, this.
the israelis take the position. we're not so concerned about international feelings about this or public opinion polls when it comes to our survival and security. but i think they do have to be concerned about the united states making sure they don't alienate the one power that really stands behind them. >> bill cohen, thank you very much. and there are troubling reports today. three americans, including jason rizan, a reporter for "the washington post", have been detained in iran. "the washington post" foreign editor said in a statement, we have received credible reports that jason rezian of "the washington post" and his wife were detained on tuesday evening in tehran. as the post's correspondent in tehran, jason is an experienced, knowledgeable reporter who deserves protection and whose work merits respect. the two other americans detained work as freelance journalists and have not yet been identified. it's time for the "your business" entrepreneur of the week. ron morris and ken jones got a $500 loan from ken's parents and
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congress today is dysfunctional and despite enormous problems, we are getting virtually nothing done for the people of our nation. >> after all the hearings, all the talk about fixing the va disaster, negotiations broke down in the last 24 hours between the house and the senate. republicans and democrats. less than a week before congress is supposed to shut down and go home for the summer. believe that. joining me is jim tarantino. tom, they say they're going home next thursday. and very likely without getting anything done on the va issue. >> it's a tragedy. this is a total failure to listen and get the jobs done that they need to get done. the va needs two things. they need a package of reforms and they need money to implement those reforms. and what is happening right now is that there isn't a reality in congress that the house won't pacifist billion unaccounted for but at the same time, the va doesed me the money. what we need are these sites to
figure out a compromise so that the va can get what it needs and veterans who are waiting for their medical appointments can get the care they deserve. >> on the house side, congressman jeff miller. let's play his response to what bernie sanders had to say. excuse me. this is a quotation from jeff miller nepcrisis at va is not a partisan problem and i will do everything i can to prevent this from devolving into the bickering and name calling for which washington has become infamous. the bottom line is, bernie sanders has to realize they republicans are not going to accept the full package unpaid for. republicans have to realize that they've got to do something. and in the old days, republicans and democrats who agree that something needs to be done ought to be able to come together in the middle. >> they should. right now senator sanders is holding it up. >> really? >> he is being intractable. there was an offer from the republicans that said we'll give you $10 billion unpaid for and appropriate the rest while giving the full package of
reforms. and senator sanders, which we agree with him, it's a cost of war. it should be paid for. that's why iava joined 20 other veterans organizations, wrote a letter to both chairmen and said we have to do this. but you can't do business in an all or nothing environment. you can't do that anymore and so senator sanders needs to come back to the table with chairman miller and make sure this gets done before they leave. if they don't, it's going to be a tragedy. >> you did a survey in february, i believe, before this whole, you know, explosion of information about the disaster that the va system is. and incredibly, 31% of those you surveyed had thought about suicide since joining the military. 40% know someone who has died by suicide. 47% know someone who has attempted suicide. these are the men and women who have served us in two wars now. iraq and afghanistan, to say
nothing of the older veterans. how can we not be serving them? >> this underscores the tragedy of this situation right now. right now men and women are 22 a day die by suicide. right now men and women waiting months for medical appointments and the fact congress can't get their act together and serve them is such a tragedy. and that -- our survey underscores the problem that this is exacerbating. >> tom tatarantino, thank you. flashback friday. president obama sent his chief of staff to berlin this week to try to smooth over that difficult relationship with angela merkel, take a look at obama's campaign trip to berlin six years ago today. >> with stops still in paris and london, barack obama hopes to narrow any experience gap he might have on foreign policy with john mccain. this after a very big day here in berlin. >> people of the world, this is
our moment. >> officials say more than 200,000 people turned out to hear the illinois senator use the image of the berlin wall to call for a change in international relations. >> the walls between races and tribes, natives and immigrants, christians and muslims and jews cannot stand. these now are the walls we must tear down. >> john mccain used the backdrop of a german restaurant in columbus, ohio, to speak obama. he tried to contrast obama's speech overseas by talking with small business owners about the economic challenges they face at home. >> i'd love to give a speech in germany but i much prefer to do it as president of the united states rather than as a candidate for the office of presidency. >> the two candidates also continued to spar long distance over their view on the war. following mccain's assertion that obama would rather lose a war in order to win the presidency. in an interview with brian williams, obama said he was disappointed by that language. >> for him to suggest that
somehow i am less concerned about the safety of my wife and daughter than he is, i think was unfortunate. >> but mccain stood his ground telling nbc's kelly o'donnell -- >> i don't think he understands the serious consequences of failure in iraq. so, therefore, he treats it as just another political issue. >> one note, obama hoped to go to ramstein and visit u.s. troops here before he left the country. but the pentagon said that he could not do that while on the political leg of this trip. even though obama had visited injured troops earlier this week in iraq when he was traveling with the congressional delegation. the healthcare yo. at humana, we believe if healthcare changes, if it becomes simpler... if frustration and paperwork decrease... if grandparents get to live at home instead of in a home... the gap begins to close.
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slapped ray rice with a two-game suspension, a slap an the wrist as far as many critics are concerned. how will this affect the league's efforts to draw in women fans. this video shows rice dragging an unconscious janet palmer, his fiance at the time, ot of a hotel casino elevator. a police statement described an incident inside the elevator where both rice and palmer allegedly were striking each other with their hands. rice avoided a legal proceeding by entering a pretrial intervention program going to counseling sessions with his later wife. she married him after the incident but that doesn't satisfy all the questions about whether the penalty fits the offense. joining me is kerry champion, moderator of espn's "first take." you know this issue better than anyone. what is the feeling inside the league and among the pros about whether this was the right penalty for ray rice? >> i can't necessarily speak to what the league is feeling.
i can tell you just from covering the story over the past few months from when the incident happened back in february that the punishment doesn't necessarily fit the crime only because this is one of those rare incidents where there is actual evidence to see that some type of domestic dispute took place. you mentioned, yes, we do not know what happened in that elevator. there are reports there was an altercation between his then fiance janay. but the problem with the message that was sent down with just giving two games, a two-game suspension? it's really a subjective suspension because the nfl doesn't have a policy on domestic dispute. 45% of the nfl's fan base is women. this is the moment for roger goodle to say we're going to take a stand against this. we're going to have a prominent statement that says we don't tolerate this in the league. we don't want to offend 45% of our fan base and you hand down a
two-game suspension. regardless of what we don't know that happened in the elevator. it sends a message that is extremely unclear and for some, unfair. >> as you point out, there's no real standard for domestic violence allegations. compared to drug infractions where the suspensions can be four games or longer. >> for p.e.d. use, performance enhancing use, they are suspended for forgames. if you are a first time overhead with a substance abuse, that's two games. so on parallel, let's say two games for smoking marijuana, two games for domestic dispute. sometimes in the past they've been reduced down to one game, specifically referring to domesting dispute and also substance abuse. it doesn't send the right message. it's very secretaryive. and so i think this is probably where the nfl has the opportunity to say this is how we feel about domestic dispute and we should take it much more seriously because, not that they don't take it seriously but it
sure does come off that way when you see that video and again, the end result is that ray rice fined three game checks which is equivalent of maybe $500,000, and a two-game suspension. >> i saw coach harbaugh went along with it willingly without any kind of criticism either. >> yeah, coach harbaugh, even goodell said he's a first time offender referring to ray rice and that he is normally quote/unquote a good kid and that all may be the case. i think here, though, the problem that i know most people are pointing to is that for some reason, people are uncomfortable discussing domestic violence, sexual abuse. all the things that happen. these what i call intimate crimes. there is rarely ever any intelligent discourse in public. it's not open. and so when these incidents happen, they try to make them go away quickly, privately. let's just do this.
let's not draw it out and make it go away. we can't really police domestic violence in the league. and, yes, i see coach harbaugh, everyone is defending ray rice. i'm not trying to impugn his reputation in any form or fashion. by all accounts, he's a stand-up guy. his teammates say the same thing. i've interviewed him on several occasions. seemingly a great guy. but it isn't about him being a great guy. it's about the message the league is sending with these subjective penalties. >> cari champion from espn's ""first take." thanks for being with us. the gatekeeper, nelson mandela's closest aide for two decade and her own extraordinary journey. >> to deny any person their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. [ male announcer ] this is the age of knowing what you're made of.
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fellow south africans, i greet you all in the name of this democracy and freedom for a all. i stand here before you not as a prophet but as a humble servant of you, the people. >> never forget that day. february 11th, 1990, the day nelson mandela was released from prison after having served 27 years. in the years that followed he made it his mission to free white as well as black south africans from the prison of their separate lives. and the case of afconnafafrikan.
mandela's close aide zelda describes her journey from the ruling dloos mandela's personal staff and his confidante for nearly two decades. zelda joins me now. >> we don't think of mandela surrounded by people both black and white. and his efforts to bring the two together. >> absolutely, andrea. it was a decision by him to appoint me and choose me to work alongside him, specifically to send the message of unification and reconciliation, not only in south africa but to the rest of the world. >> and was it controversial with his colleagues? >> yes it still is. it's not a popular position as it is. it's a white person. it is -- it has attracted a lot of criticism over the years, and at first mr. mandela was very sensitive to such criticism and
trying to explain why he appointed me. and after some years he would laughably refer to my appointment and whenever someone challenged him and said, you know, they didn't like me or didn't agree with me and he said he would never fire me. >> one of the quotes from your book is my people were protected. protected from men like nelson mandela. it was people like him, black and determined to overthrow the government, challenging white superiority who we feared. that's the way you were raised. >> that's right. absolutely oblivious of what was happening on the outside world and segregation was acceptable in my community. the first day in his office it was really a shock that this man that i considered to be a terrorist and the enemy greeted me with sincerity, with kindness and inquired about me and spoke to me in my home language afrikans. >> which was certainly the
language that -- >> the language of the oppressor. yet he spoke to me in my language. i heard him over the years saying if you speak to a man, you speak to his head. if you speak to a man in his language, you speak to his heart. that's what he did. he spoke to my heart. >> how did he communicate with you also emotionally about the need for unification? because you came from such a different world. >> over the years he went through great effort to really mentor me and show and introduce me to, first of all, south africa's history. but explaining things to great detail. wherever we traveled, he would explain the difficulties in each community and it took me along this road and changed me in the process. >> and what do you think the abiding lesson, the enduring lesson of nelson mandela and reconciliation is for the world? >> definitely respect and grappling with all these world,s at the moment, i really hope
will refer back to his example. one of respecting another person's humanity. and for me, that is really the greatness of the man. >> it's really a remarkable story. "good morning, mr. mandela." your years in service with this great man. thanks so much. very nice to meet you. which political story will be making headlines here in the next 24 hours? that's next here on "andrea mitchell reports." [guy] i know what you're thinking- you're thinking beneful. [announcer]beneful has wholesome grains,real beef,even accents of spinach,carrots and peas.
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accused? people who are minorities. but you can be a minority because of the color of your skin or the shade of your ideology. there's many ways you can be a minority. we have to be together to defend rights of all minorities. >> and that was rand paul at the national urban league conference today. what about the reception for his libertarian views? joining me for our daily fix, nbc news political reporter casey hunt live at the national
urban league conference in ohio. how was he received? >> so he got a very polite reception. people were happy to see him. they didn't have a huge crowd here. they had to delay his speech for a few minutes while they waited for people to trickle in to that early 8:00 a.m. speech. he did get some applause. he has a few proposals he unveiled today. he'll inn veil a bill that could eliminate the disparity in sentencing for crack versus powder cocaine. also mandatory minimum sentencing. but i think the question going forward for senator paul, especially for an audience like this is going to be whether or not he can overcome some of the thun things he said in the past. he's tripped up discussing things luke tthing s like the civil rights act. he had to come here and say i support the civil rights act. many of the people here view that as something that's settled and shouldn't have to be discussed. the people i talked to who were
here today did appreciate him coming into this forum. that's what he sort of talks about is he has to come into these communities if republicans are to hope to start to win over more african-american voters than they have in the past. >> you had a chance to interview him as well. let's play a little bit of that. >> the actual definition of what we want to do. we still have most of the voting rights intact, and i support that. there is some question with what the supreme court did and how we'll either replace it or whether it will be replaced. i've been trying to be part of the solution. i don't know if we have an ultimate answer. >> so casey, we see that, you know, rand paul is a -- is trying to carve out a place for himself as a 2016 contender and making a stop at an african-american organization, something so important as the national urban league. it's a very big step. >> it absolutely is a big step. as you saw there he's now trying to take the general priorities and turn them into specifics.
and he doesn't seem to be as willing to go as far as some other republicans like congressman jim sensenbrenner on voting rights specifically. when you take a step back and look at it, he's already heading out on the 2016 campaign trail and trying to carry this message of the idea that republicans can expand their appeal. i asked him if he thought that he was maybe the front-runner at this point in the 2016 campaign. he said, well, he was just glad he wasn't dead last. and before we leave this update on the veterans legislation, word from senator sanders' office that he and congressman miller had a, quote, productive conversation. they may be getting closer to an agreement. we'll see what happens. we will keep you informed and hope to talk to senator sanders as well next week. that does it for this week and this edition of "andrea mitchell reports." follow the show online and on facebook and twitte "ronan farrow daily" is next.
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the presidents of guatemala, honduras and el salvador meet with president obama today. just the latest in a stream of migrants crossing our borders every day. >> the border crisis front and center at the white house again today. president obama is meet with leaders of guatemal ahonduras and el salvador to discuss the influx of undocumented immigrants from the region. >> secretary kerry has flown to cairo and reportedly has a proposal. it would be a temporary cease-fire starting on sunday here in gaza. the chances of success are not seen as incredibly large. a military unit from france is heading to africa today to secure the crash site of an air algerie jet that went down in mali with 116 people on board. 1:00 p.m. an the east coast. 10:00 a.m. an the west. here is what you need to know right now. developing news from the middle east where this afternoon, secretary of state john